Providing modifications is crucial in order to allow all students to achieve in the classroom. The main concern of mine in the photo class that I’m in is that it is a combined class of AP Photography, AP Fashion Design, and Photography III. This means that there are a lot of different levels of students in this class. Some students have had a significant amount of experience with photography and some have had very little in comparison. Providing a variety of different projects for students to explore is a significant way that I can modify the lesson for students. By allowing choices for students I am giving them the chance to modify for themselves a bit, some may choose to challenge themselves with a more difficult assignment while some may choose to pick something that they feel like they would be able to succeed with. At this level of Photography the teacher has been able to understand what the different students’ needs and exceptionalities are and can push the student towards the assignment that would fit them best but also allow the student to challenge themselves if they need to.
In terms of teaching the class new material some students need to see examples, some need a written step by step list of instructions, and some need to see a demonstration. Providing a variety of ways for students to access the material is crucial in making sure students understand what they are being taught. Differentiating between the classes and allowing work time for the AP section while something is being taught for Photo III and visa-versa. In terms of AP Fashion design there is a lot of one on one teaching and conferences to meet his needs. Students in the class tend to differentiate themselves if they want to work closely with other students in the class or work independently.
In order to assess how students needs are being met it would be important to meet one on one with students. If one-on-one meetings aren’t doable for the class it is really easy to see if they understand in their art work. Assessment, assessment, and more assessment will allow you to see if there are any needs that aren’t being met and if there is any need for intervention.
Student A (AP Photo) is a student in the class who has had a significant amount of experience with photography from working in the photo department at JAX. Student A thinks he doesn’t need to work very hard in the class because he believes already knows everything therefore hardly ever comes to class and sometimes treats the teachers in the class like they don’t know anything. Student A needs to be challenged in the class to hone in his artistic voice, he can create a visually interesting image but it says nothing really about him as an artist. Challenging him to create a portfolio and meeting with him one on one to show him some more in depth photo processes could be all he needs to challenge him and push him to show up to class. His ability pushes the other students in the class and he often serves as another teacher in the class because of his level of understanding but he needs a significant increase in challenge.
Student B(Photo III) is very quiet but always sits in the front of the classroom. She has very low self esteem and struggles with making anything for fear of being criticized. Allowing Student B to just turn in her work and receive feedback from the teacher only for the first half of the semester may help her build up confidence and could lead to her eventually being willing to participate in a critique.
Modifications allow all students to get the most out of your class so it is crucial that you get to know your students. A way to get to know students you have for the first time would be to, on the first day of class, have the students answer a few questions about themselves or do a multiple intelligences activity to help you get a better understanding of your students.